Horse Frightened by Lightning is an 1829 watercolor by French Romantic artist Eugene Delacroix. It is in the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts in Hungary.
Analysis of Horse Frightened by Lightning
During his career, Delacroix painted a number of monumental historical paintings, and in so doing, would become a master horse painter as can be seen here.
Horses are an incredibly common theme through his work, but his 1829 Horse Frightened by Lightning is unique in its isolated treatment of a single subject without a rider. Here, rather than to document or give homage to a historical event, Delacroix’s focus is on studying the animal’s anatomy and making its fear palpable to the audience.
The painting is a representation of the power of nature, and how it can affect the animal kingdom. The horse’s wild and agitated behavior is a reflection of the destructive power of the storm, and how even the strongest animals can be overcome by it. The painting also serves as a commentary on the fragility of life, and how we are at the mercy of forces beyond our control.
Eugene Delacroix’s Horse Frightened by Lightning, a watercolor, was originally given as a gift to the artist’s friend Louis-Auguste Schwiter, also a painter.